TALLAHASSEE, Fla. ― In the frantic moments at the Florida State University campus library last week, bullets struck 21-year-old student Farhan “Ronny” Ahmed three times, including a shot that severely damaged his spine and left him paralyzed from the waist down, his sister said Monday.
“Despite his injuries, he’s alive and we’re so grateful that he’s here with us,” said Farhana Ahmed during a brief news conference at Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare.
His status has been upgraded from critical to serious.
He is the only person who remains hospitalized from last week’s shooting. Officers shot and killed the gunman, 31-year-old Myron May, outside the front entrance of Strozier Library. Library employee Nathan Scott, who was shot in the leg, was released from the hospital last week. Another student, Elijah Velez, was grazed by a bullet and was treated and released at the scene.
May, a 2005 FSU graduate and an attorney, reloaded at least once and tried to enter the library, where at least 400 students were studying for midterm exams early Thursday, but was blocked by lobby security barriers that permit only students and staff inside. Police responded within two minutes of the first 911 call and fired off a barrage of bullets that killed him. FSU officials noted the security barriers were put in place in late 2008 ― or after May had already left the school.
Ronny Ahmed is from Orlando and is studying to be a biomedical engineer. University President John Thrasher, who has met with the family, said the school is “100 percent committed to ensuring” it does what it can to help Ahmed graduate as planned. The student’s friends have already started raising money on his behalf to help with medical expenses.
Classes resumed a day after the shooting and the library reopened. But it could be weeks before the investigation is wrapped up. Police are likely to question witnesses again, and a grand jury will review the actions of campus police and Tallahassee police, who killed May.
Videos and a journal obtained by police indicate May, who went on to graduate from law school at Texas Tech, thought he was being watched and targeted by the government. He also complained to police and property managers in New Mexico that cameras were watching him in his apartment and that he heard voices talking about and laughing at him, according to police reports released last week.